I finally settled on a color palette for the hallway—I can celebrate! This means, in short, that the hallway will be liberated from the garish mustard and ketchup color scheme that existed there for too many years. I opted for bright, airy colors that will open up the space and emphasize the height of the ceilings. This will give the illusion of a larger and fresher vestibule and hallway, in stark contrast to the harsh and heavy colors that exist now.
The best colors for this came from Behr: White Truffle, Chocolate Froth, and Wheat Bread. They’re nearly analogous warm whites that offer just a touch of personality, preventing the staleness often associated with boring beige. White Truffle will be for the walls, Chocolate Froth will be for the doors, and Wheat Bread will be for all trim.
The beautifully printed swatch cards Home Depot provides of Behr paint (and any paint, for that matter) should never be seen as absolute—your lighting, texture, undercoat, and other variables all impact how the final coat of paint will be perceived. It may be lighter, darker, or a different temperature altogether. I learned that the hard way.
I began with the Chocolate Froth on the doors and, much to my amazement after cheerfully rolling paint on, found that the color did not match the swatch card. The actual paint was warmer and lighter when applied to my newly primed doors. The neutrality seen on the swatch card was not in the final product and that irritated me. In all fairness, I took for granted that the swatch card was printed on paper using an offset press with 4, 5, or 6 colors (perhaps with a varnish) so it would never look exactly like acrylic paint on a primed, metal door. Oh, the beauty of hindsight. If it only came early in the realization process!
The two photos below show the discrepancy between Chocolate Froth (the color in the center of the swatch card) as printed, and Chocolate Froth in a real-world application (first, as applied from the tester on the label at Home Depot, followed by three coats on the primed, metal door).
The colors aren’t the same. They’re very different when seen side by side and the door appears to be painted in a fourth, unnamed color. One I didn’t plan for. One I didn’t want.
Despite that, there’s a silver lining to this off-white cloud. None of the tenants, visitors, servicemen, or anyone else entering the building will be aware that the beautifully painted hallway looks different from the swatch cards that I was enamored with when standing in Home Depot. They won’t have any idea that I considered changing the colors. At this point, as my painting teacher used to say in college, “like it or not, it’s art!” At this point it’s WYSIWYG, or, what you see is what you get.